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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / 19th Century
  • Language:English
  • Pages:74
  • eBook ISBN:9781483504025

Philip Reid After Slavery

The Ex-Slave Who Put Freedom Atop the Capitol Faces Uncertainty in Carving a New Life

by Eugene Walton

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Overview
While the progress of the Statue of Freedom was interrupted by the Civil War, the life of Philip Reid was more seriously interrupted by the passage of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act of April 16, 1863. With one stroke of the pen, Philip was thrust from the womb of slavery out into the cold world called freedom. Philip was at once confronted by the uncertainties of avoiding re-enslavement by opportunistic bounty hunters roaming the streets of Washington; creating a foundry career as a free entrepreneur; and dealing with free relationships with two competitive Free Black women.
Description
Philip Reid grew up in slavery near Charleston, South Carolina, where he became a skilled foundry craftsman. He was purchased by Clark Mills, who owned the Clark Mills Foundry of Washington, D.C. Clark Mills received a U.S. Government contract to cast the Statue of Freedom to stand atop the Capitol Dome - so Philip moved to Washington and played a significant role in the casting. While the progress of the Statue of Freedom was interrupted by the Civil War, the life of Philip Reid was more seriously interrupted by the passage of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act of April 16, 1863. With one stroke of the pen, Philip was thrust from the womb of slavery out into the cold world called freedom. Philip was at once confronted by the uncertainties of avoiding re-enslavement by opportunistic bounty hunters roaming the streets of Washington; creating a foundry career as a free entrepreneur; and dealing with free relationships with two competitive Free Black women. The resolution of Philip’s problems boil down to a Proposal to have the District of Columbia Commissioners vote on a Proclamation acknowledging Philip’s contributions in the casting of the Statue of Freedom and publishing this on December 2, 1862 - at the time the Statue was to be installed atop the Capitol Dome. The Commissioners voted November 29. 1862.
About the author
About the Author Eugene Walton grew up in Seattle and earned two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington (Political Science and Journalism). He joined the U.S. Air force and served as a Personnel Officer. After military service he attended and graduated from Boston University (Master of Science in Public Relations), then journeyed across the Charles River for one year as graduate student/Research Assistant at the Center for International Communication, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specializing in African communication. Following this he worked at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California as a Management Research Associate. In 1961 Eugene Walton was awarded a Naval Graduate Fellowship which he used to attend the University of Southern California, where he earned the Doctor of Public Administration degree in 1962. In the same year Dr. Walton joined the U.S. Information Agency and was assigned as Research Officer/West Africa and posted to Lagos, Nigeria, 1963-1965. Dr. Walton served at Coordinator of Affirmative Action at the Library of Congress from 1973 to 1986. Dr. Walton’s publications include “The Crisis of Kobbo: An Afro-American Fable” (Negro Digest); “Things Fall Apart: The Nigerian Dilemma in Perspective” (Negro Digest); The Biography of Philip Reid: Historical Fiction and African Immigrants and African Americans: Community or Conflict?
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